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Early music with charisma




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A Battle and No Battle - Copyright (c) 1999 ALBA RecordsWhatever other reason I may advance as an excuse for incessant repeats of this CD of early music since it came into my hands, the playing of the Finnish early music group Battalia is magnetic. Thus, my musical feelings are overcome. There are similar groups with professional expertise: I cannot recall quite the same fervour, whether in the unfolding of slow music, or the rumbustiousness of jolly music.

The programme is - one might almost say - 'classic': Bull, Wilson, Lawes, Simpson, Baltzar, and Purcell. The record's title is the piece by Bull that kickstarts the programme. (Click to listen.) The great G minor Chacony by Purcell rounds it off. Highspots for me are the Fantazia from Lawes' Suite in G minor, the sprung rhythms of the Sarabande from Locke's Suite in C, and a Fantazia by Lawes. Battalia do naturally in their musicmaking what stems from an intensity as they become as one with the music.

Copyright © Basil Ramsey, September 8th 1999 

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